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2019 Highlights

 

 

 

 

 
     

 

2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

     

 

March, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Journal of Korean Studies, Volume XXII, Number 1, 2018  

IJKS

‘New’ Malaysia: Four Key Challenges in the near Term, March 2019. In May 2018 Malaysia underwent its first regime change in its political history. This saw the return of Mahathir Mohamad as prime minster, 15 years after his first tenure as prime minster from 1981 to 2003. As the country heads towards the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) government, it is imperative that the momentum for political change is not stalled. This Analysis identifies four key areas that the new administration must deal with in the next 12 months: the Malay Agenda/Bumiputra Policy; the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63); political Islam; and a clear timetable for transition of power. These issues are not only crucial to the stability of the PH administration, but also for long-term institutional reforms...

 

Lowy

Counterterrorism Yearbook 2019. The Counterterrorism Yearbook is ASPI’s annual flagship publication curated by the Counter-terrorism Policy Centre, now in its third year of publication. It is a comprehensive resource for academics and policymakers to build on their knowledge of counterterrorism developments in countries and regions around the world. Each chapter in the yearbook is written by an internationally renowned subject-matter and regional expert who provides their insight and commentary on counterterrorism policy, legislation, operations and strategy for a specific country or region, looking at both the year in review and the challenges for the year ahead.

 

ASPI

Agenda for Change 2019: Strategic Choices for the Next Government, February 2019. In 2018, many commentators pronounced the rules-based global order to be out for the count. This presents serious challenges for a country such as Australia, which has been an active contributor and clear beneficiary of that order. The government that we elect in 2019’s federal election will be faced with difficult strategic policy choices unlike any we’ve confronted in the past 50 years. This volume contains 30 short essays that cover a vast range of subjects, from the big geostrategic challenges of our times, through to defence strategy; border, cyber and human security; and key emergent technologies. The essays provide busy policymakers with policy recommendations to navigate this new world, including proposals that ‘break the rules’ of traditional policy settings. Each of the essays is easily readable in one sitting—but their insightful and ambitious policy recommendations may take a little longer to digest.

 

ASPI

Trends in Southeast Asia 2019 #6 : Military Capitalism in Myanmar: Examining the Origins, Continuities and Evolution of “Khaki Capital”.  Military enterprises, ostensibly set up to feed and supply soldiers, were some of the earliest and largest Burmese commercial conglomerates, established in the 1950s. Union Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL) and Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) are two profit-seeking military enterprises established by the military after the dissolution of the Burma Socialist Programme Party in 1988, which remain central players in Myanmar’s post-2011 economy. Military conglomerates are a major source of off-budget revenue for the military and a main employer of retired soldiers. Yet few veterans receive more than a small piece of the profits from UMEHL. The vast bulk of formal dividends instead disproportionately benefit higher ranking officers and institutions within the Tatmadaw...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2019 #5 : From Declaration to Code: Continuity and Change in China’s Engagement with ASEAN on the South China Sea. China’s engagement with ASEAN over the South China Sea, from the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea to the ongoing negotiations on the Code of Conduct (COC), exhibits a dynamic continuum with two constants: 1. Dismissal of any legally binding instrument that would constrain China’s freedom of action; and 2. Persistent territorialization of the SCS despite Beijing’s simultaneous diplomatic engagement with ASEAN. The continuity is juxtaposed with elements of change in China’s engagement with ASEAN, as afforded by the former’s growing power and influence. This metamorphosis is manifested in China’s efforts to undermine ASEAN unity, robustly assert its claims in the SCS, and use economic statecraft towards ASEAN member states in return for their acquiescence...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2019 #4 : The Indo-Pacific and Its Strategic Challenges: An Australian Perspective. The shift in the framework of Australia’s strategic thinking from the Asia-Pacific to the Indo-Pacific reflects the primary focus on the maritime environment in the coming decades and the expectation that over time India will become more embedded in the strategic dynamics of the Asia-Pacific. India is in the midst of a major geopolitical repositioning, as it pursues a hard-headed national interests-based policy and builds stronger strategic ties with a wide range of countries including the United States and its allies in the region. The region is entering a potentially dangerous phase in U.S.–China relations. China’s rise needs to be managed not frustrated; balanced not contained. Constructing that balance and anchoring China in a new multi-polar strategic equilibrium in the Indo-Pacific is the big challenge of our time...

 

ISEAS

North Korea and ASEAN: Friends Again, but It's Complicated, February 2019. When Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un meet in Vietnam later this month, it will mark Kim’s second trip to Southeast Asia in less than a year. That in itself is something of a noteworthy feat, considering it had been over half a century since the last time a North Korean leader traveled to the region. The choice of venue also gives a bit of vindication to “the ASEAN way” – a preference among the countries of the region for neutrality and non-alignment in international affairs, coupled with a willingness to use their good offices to help resolve international disputes. A recent poll of Southeast Asian leaders from the fields of academia, government, business, and civil society revealed a marked preference for engaging, rather than pressuring, North Korea...

 

EWC

Vietnam-North Korea: Communism Could not Unite Them, Can Capitalism? February 2019. Vietnam and North Korea were once considered ‘two of a kind’; divided countries, sharing a border with China and determined to unify their countries under the chosen ideology of communism. After the Cold War, the two took very different paths. Today, the relationship may have an opportunity for a new chapter – one that is based not on a common ideology, but by a desire for economic growth and development. North Korea and then-North Vietnam had long-standing relations. In fact, the DPRK was the third country after the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam established formal relations with in the same month of January 1950 – the year that the Korean War began...

 

EWC

Historically Balanced Thailand-North Korea Relations, February 2019. Thailand-North Korea ties have long escaped international scrutiny since the two countries first established diplomatic relations on 8 May 1975. Thai-North Korea friendship and cooperation have developed with ups and downs reflecting the prevailing regional and global security environment. North Korea was the first communist country to officially recognize Thailand. In the absence of any outstanding bilateral disputes, both countries found it easy to get along despite ideological differences that further diminished when the Cold War ended. Pyongyang was eager to forge ties with Bangkok to end international isolation and counterbalance South Korea’s influence in Southeast Asia...

 

EWC

Factors Shaping Philippines-North Korea Relations, February 2019. The Republic of the Philippines’ relations with North Korea are influenced by four critical factors: political alignment with the United States, realpolitik, international norms, and risks to Philippine national security and interests. In other words, historical, functional, normative, and strategic factors have been of greater or lesser significance at different junctures in the nearly twenty-year formal Philippines-North Korea relationship. The initial interaction between the Philippines and North Korea occurred as state-to-state conflict due to the Korean War (1950-1953), which was a byproduct of the Cold War. The Philippines, being a liberal democracy, showed the flag and sent boots on the ground by deploying the “Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea” (PEFTOK) to join the United Nations (UN) coalition forces under the leadership and operational command of the United States to defend democratic South Korea against an invasion by the Communist North...

 

EWC

Myanmar-North Korea Relations are Primarily a Contest between Myanmar’s Civilian Government and Its Military, February 2019. Myanmar and North Korea have had a complex relationship since the 1990s. In the 2000s especially, the two countries’ military ties, including North Korea’s sale of missile technology and assistance in the construction of underground defense facilities in Myanmar, have caused international and regional concerns. While bilateral relations between Myanmar and North Korea have not always been easy, the challenges and struggles the two countries each faced have brought them closer. As pariah states shunned by the international community for their severe human rights violations and facing sanctions and embargoes by the West, the two countries managed pragmatically to meet each others' needs. For example, the Tatmadaw — Myanmar’s military — was intent on bolstering its military strength and defense capabilities and North Korea was receptive to helping to achieving this goal...

 

EWC

How North Korea-Mongolia Relations Have Jumpstarted the Korean Peninsula Peace Process, February 2019. Mongolia’s diplomacy with North Korea, based on a long history of close relations between the two countries, has been a significant factor in the new atmosphere on the Korean peninsula. Mongolia believes that it faces common problems with Pyongyang, such as uncomfortable economic dependence on border neighbors — China and Russia — and geographical isolation from greater Asia. Landlocked Mongolia’s diversification of trade partners through its own “Third Neighbor” policy (to cultivate ties with countries beyond its two border neighbors to counterbalance their economic and political influence) is connected to its self-interest, but also could serve as a diplomatic bridge by unlocking North Korea as a rail transit route and port to the Pacific for Mongolia’s rich mineral resources...

 

EWC

From Neutrality to Pragmatism in Malaysia-North Korea Relations, February 2019. In the late 1960s, North Korea began to reach out to Malaysia to establish diplomatic ties amidst its Cold War-era charm-offensive toward the developing world. The first official visit by representatives of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to Malaysia was a trade delegation led by then External Trade Minister Bak Su Kwon in 1971 to Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (then PERNAS, now PNS) Malaysia’s largest state-owned enterprise (SOE). Subsequently, DPRK’s overseas diplomatic representatives actively sought out Malaysian counterparts (in Cairo, Paris, Belgrade, Jakarta, and Singapore) to convey North Korean government’s wish to establish official ties in early 1973...

 

EWC

Pyongyang and India: Strategic Choices on the Korean Peninsula, February 2019. The first visit by the Minister of State for External Affairs of India V.K. Singh to Pyongyang in May 2018 after a gap of 20 years demonstrated New Delhi’s aim to nurture its relationship with North Korea and keep options open to advance its strategic presence in the rapidly evolving environment on the Korean Peninsula. Noting how both India and North Korea could possibly explore cooperation in areas of “mutual interests”, the official statement released after the visit of V.K. Singh iterated India’s support towards the evolving joint peace initiative between the DPRK and the ROK on the Korean Peninsula...

 

EWC

Cambodia-North Korea Relations, February 2019. Cambodia is among the five Southeast Asian countries that have an embassy in Pyongyang. The bilateral relationship has fluctuated over time, due to three factors: leadership, economics, and geopolitics. The late King Norodom Sihanouk and Kim Il-sung were the architects of the bilateral relationship after their first encounter at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting in Belgrade in 1961. The relationship flourished from 1965 to early 1990s, as both countries stood on the same side during the Cold War. The new coalition government in Cambodia, established after the UNsupervised general election in 1993, continued to maintain good relations with North Korea, with both sides signing an agreement to create the Cambodia-DPRK Joint Committee to strengthen bilateral ties...

 

EWC

The Philippine-US Alliance in 2019, February 2019. At the end of 2018, two developments rocked the alliance between the Philippines and the United States. Delfin Lorenzana, the Philippine secretary of national defense, called for the review of the Mutual Defense Treaty. In the United States, Secretary James Mattis resigned out of principle, to be temporarily replaced by his relatively inexperienced deputy. With US-China competition moving into high gear, coupled with the unstable domestic politics of the two allied countries, a review of the mutual defense treaty will pose a great challenge to alliance management...

 

EWC

Latest APEC publications:

 

 

APEC

Demystifying Rising Inequality in Asia, Published 2019. Rising income inequality is a key challenge for policy makers in developing Asia. Income inequality is one of the most profound social, economic, and political challenges of our time. The gap between the rich and the poor has been regarded as a major concern for policy makers. This gap is at its highest level in decades for developed economies, while the inequality trend has been rising in many developing countries. In Asia, despite recent economic growth, income distribution has been worsening as well. This book contributes to the existing literature on inequality in Asia by overviewing the new trend of inequality in Asia and investigating the drivers of rising inequality in various Asian countries.

 

ADB

The Future of Work: Regional Perspectives, Published 2018. This study considers how technology is likely to change labor markets in Africa; Developing Asia; Emerging Europe, Central Asia, and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean; and Latin American and the Caribbean in the coming years. Recent technological innovation in fields such as robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence have reduced the number of workers required in a range of sectors, while lowering costs and increasing reliability. This trend has led policy makers, academics, chief executive officers, and entrepreneurs to ask what types of jobs will be most affected, what new skillsets will be needed for the jobs of tomorrow, and how governments can ease the transition. This study identifies concrete policy actions countries in these regions could take to face up to the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by emergent technology. It is a copublication between African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Inter-American Development Bank.

 

ADB

Latest ADB Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest ADBI Working Paper Series:  

ADB

 

 

 

 

February, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quad 2.0: New Perspectives for the Revived Concept, February 2019. In late 2017, the revival of an idea over a decade old—the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue—created a wave of debate, concern and anticipation across the world. The Quad, as it is commonly referred to—or, more precisely, Quad 2.0, as this is its second life—is an informal dialogue between four of the world’s major democracies: the US, Japan, Australia and India. Quad 2.0, like Quad 1.0, is a controversial yet important idea that has survived the test of time. The four members’ first major get-together was in December 2004, when they responded to the massive Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in a coordinated multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation. Following that, in 2007, the first informal meeting between the four happened on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Manila. Soon afterwards, the first naval exercise involving all the Quad members drew Chinese diplomatic protests, after which Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pulled Australia out of the exercise. Quad 1.0 fell into lethargy...

 

ASPI

Fiscal Management of Reserves in Singapore: An Intergenerational Equity Perspective, September 2018. The pre-dominant discourse around the fiscal management of Singapore’s national reserves is often framed around sustainability. The concept of sustainability is however shaped by how we understand intergenerational equity; what we mean by “fairness” between generations; and what standards we apply to determine if there is indeed “fairness” between generations. This paper reviews current theories on intergenerational equity, and locates the prevailing discourse on fiscal management of the reserves and intergenerational equity in Singapore with these theories...

 

IPS

Fake News, False Information and More: Countering Human Biases, September 2018. Despite the various measures adopted by the public, private and people sectors in the past 18 months to counter fake news and various types of disinformation, concerns among the public remain high. According to the 2018 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, over half (54%) agree or strongly agree that they were concerned about what is real and fake on the Internet. This was highest in countries like Brazil (85%), Spain (69%), and the US (64%) where politics are polarised and social media use is high...

 

IPS

Community Relations Amidst the Threat of Terror, September 2018. This paper analyses data from a survey funded by Channel NewsAsia (CNA) at MediaCorp in 2017, which examined the views of 2,031 respondents on issues relating to race and religious relations in the context of terrorism. The survey aimed to study how Singaporeans would react following a terror attack in the nation state, perpetrated by groups that used religious labels (either a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu group).1 The survey also asked respondents how long they thought it would take for fellow citizens to remain angry or suspicious of those from the same religion involved in the attack, and the length of time it would take for Singaporeans to feel united as one people...

 

IPS

Makan Index 2017: An Indicator for Cost of Eating Out in Singapore, May 2018. In this paper, we introduce the Makan Index as a measure of the cost of eating out. This measure was built on survey data (n = 2,389) collected using a standard set of food items across 26 (URA) planning areas in Singapore, focusing on only three types of eating places: coffee shops, hawker centres and food courts. The Index was then compared across different planning areas and its correlation with socioeconomic characteristics of the planning areas was analysed. The results of this study show that the cost of eating out differs across planning areas...

 

IPS

Workfare and Vulnerability in Rural India, Published 2019. Using a unique panel data for rural India for the periods 1999 and 2006 this paper models vulnerability to poverty in the context of local governance and the introduction of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). We quantify household vulnerability in rural India in 1999 and 2006, investigate the determinants of ex post poverty as well as ex ante vulnerability, assess the role of ex ante vulnerability on poverty shift during the sample periods (i.e. movement into/out of poverty) and finally, examine how the effects of the determinants of vulnerability vary at different points across the vulnerability distribution...

 

ASARC

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Research Paper Series:  

PIDS

Philippine Institute for Development Studies - Development Research News:  

PIDS

Global Britain and Global Japan: A New Alliance in the Indo-Pacific? January 2019. In January 2019, amidst all the Brexit-related commotion and confusion, British Prime Minister Theresa May took time out to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to London. Although the media focused on the timing of the visit – not least because of his warning over the consequences of a “no-deal” Brexit and follow-on visit to the Netherlands, where a handful of Japanese companies may relocate or establish satellite offices – this was much more than just a shoring up of one political leader by another. The fact is that Japan and the UK have been moving closer together for over a decade, and not only in the diplomatic-economic sphere. For some time, the two have been deepening their strategic and military cooperation...

 

EWC

The Limitations of Summits around the Korean Peninsula, January 2019. After the 2018 Winter Olympics held in South Korea, diplomatic summitry succeeded in pausing North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, alleviating US “maximum pressure,” and reducing regional concerns about military conflict. Yet despite a historic meeting between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June, and three reconciliatory meetings between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korea has made scant progress on denuclearization. In 2019, three different summits are demonstrating the limits of high-level diplomacy around the Korean Peninsula. A North Korea-China summit in January was less about solutions than maintaining influence in a fluid strategic environment...

 

EWC

Recognizing Israel Aligns with Indonesia’s Interests, Ambitions, & Constitution, January 2019. In Indonesia’s successful campaign for a UN Security Council nonpermanent membership, it expressed its desire to be a global “bridge-builder” and partner for peace in world affairs. 2019 brings Indonesia, as the world’s largest Muslim-majority state and third-largest democracy heading to national elections in the Spring, an opportunity to expand its Mideast non-aligned foreign policy. Mideast scholar and practitioner, Richard Haass suggests “In the case of Israel and the Palestinians, there is an argument for diplomatic efforts that would aim to keep the situation from deteriorating and to keep alive diplomatic prospects for a more propitious moment or, better yet, to bring such a moment closer” (2017)...

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2019 #3: Exploring the Trade Potential of the DFTZ for Malaysian SMEs. Malaysia established the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) to facilitate the development of e-commerce and the country’s small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs’) exports. The data revealed thus far indicates an increasing number of SMEs coming on board the DFTZ e-commerce platforms. The publicly disclosed data focus on the value of exports achieved but do not show whether these are from new or existing exporters or whether they are re-exports. They also do not highlight Malaysia’s imports through the zone. The overall trend signals that Malaysia is losing its bilateral revealed comparative advantage in exports to China, as well as an increasing use of imports for exporting to China...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2019 #2: Vietnam’s Industrialization Ambitions: The Case of Vingroup and the Automotive Industry. Vietnam has officially admitted its failure to achieve industrialized economy status by 2020. This failure is partly due to its inability to grow a strong local manufacturing base and develop key strategic industries. The participation of Vingroup, the country’s largest private conglomerate, in the automotive industry has sparked new hopes for Vietnam’s industrialization drive. The company, through its subsidiary Vinfast, aims to become a leading automaker in Southeast Asia with an annual capacity of 500,000 units and a localization ratio of 60 per cent by 2025. Challenges that Vinfast faces include its unproven track record in the industry; the limited size of the national car market; the lack of infrastructure to support car usage in Vietnam...

 

ISEAS

Trends in Southeast Asia 2019 #1: Emerging Political Configurations in the Run-up to the 2020 Myanmar Elections. While facing international pressures relating to Rakhine State, and under tense civil–military relations, political parties are preparing for the 2020 Myanmar general elections. The National League for Democracy (NLD), the ruling party, is taking a more democratic platform focusing on the creation of a democratic federal union, while the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) adopts a more nationalist approach, emphasizing the prevention of foreign interference regarding Rakhine State. Taking lessons from the 2015 Myanmar general elections, and in order to effectively contend with the NLD and the USDP, the ethnic political parties are at the same time merging into single parties and new political are now also being registered at the Union Election Commission...

 

ISEAS

Economic Indicators for Eastern Asia: Input–Output Tables, December 2018. This publication presents economic statistics relevant for cross-border production arrangements analysis in Hong Kong, China; Japan; Mongolia; the People’s Republic of China; the Republic of Korea; and Taipei,China. This was computed from ADB’s multi-regional input–output database which serves the increasing demand for structured, relevant, timely, and accurate data, especially with the onset of various economic research projects on global value chains...

 

ADB

Economic Indicators for Southeastern Asia and the Pacific: Input–Output Tables, December 2018. his publication presents economic statistics relevant for cross-border production arrangements analysis in Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, the Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam. This was computed from ADB’s multi-regional input–output database which serves the increasing demand for structured, relevant, timely, and accurate data, especially with the onset of various economic research projects on global value chains...

 

ADB

Latest ADB Publications:  

ADB

Latest ADB Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest ADBI Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Managing Connectivity Conflict: EU-India Cooperation and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, December 2018. Connectivity initiatives are the latest geopolitical tool for advancing influence in international relations and diplomacy. Against the backdrop of an emerging connectivity conflict, the responsibility is on likeminded countries and organizations to promote initiatives that embody transparency and universalism in connectivity projects and that benefit citizens in the long term. The EU and India are two important actors in this regard. This paper analyzes the scope of cooperation in the field of connectivity between the EU and India, arguing that they are two important strategic poles of the current world order with shared interests. Europe and India are key actors of the western and non-western democratic liberal, both aiming to strengthen an “open, transparent and rules-based system of international politics and economics.” Realizing this potential requires candid and engaged strategic and economic exchange between the two sides...

 

ISDP

Change and Continuity in Uzbekistan 1991-2016, October 2018. Uzbekistan has entered a dynamic new phase of development. The obvious motivating factor is the transition in presidential leadership, following the death of Founding President Islam Karimov on September 2, 2016, and the election of Shavkat Mirziyoyev on December 4, 2016. It is easy, perhaps all too easy, to attribute the change simply to the differences between these two leaders. Some international observers who were critical of what preceded the present changes see today's developments as a sharp break with the past, a radical transformation along fundamentally different lines than what preceded them, a welcome opening to a more market-based and participatory system. Others, who also have little good to say about what came earlier, are quick to conclude that less has changed than meets the eye, and that the many recent reforms are mainly for show...

 

ISDP

Hong Kong: High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecasts Current Quarter Model: 2019Q1, January 2019. According to its High Frequency Macroeconomic Forecast, real GDP is estimated to grow by 2.7% in 18Q4, when compared with the same period in 2017, slightly slower than the 2.9% growth in 18Q3. In 19Q1, real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 2.3% when compared with the same period last year. We forecast that Hong Kong GDP will grow by 3.4% in 2018 as a whole, same as our previous forecast. Clouded by the expected economic slowdown in China and US in 2019 brought by the unfolding impact of the US-China trade tension and interest rate hikes, Hong Kong’s GDP growth is expected to show further slowdown to 2.8% in 2019 as a whole...

 

HKU

MAS Survey of Professional Forecasters, December 2018. The December 2018 Survey was sent out on 22 November 2018 to a total of 28 economists and analysts who closely monitor the Singapore economy. This report reflects the views received from 23 respondents (a response rate of 82.1%) and does not represent MAS’ views or forecasts. GDP growth in Q3 2018 was in line with expectations. The Singapore economy expanded by 2.2% in Q3 2018 compared with the same period last year, marginally higher than the median forecast of 2.1% reported in the September survey. In the current survey, year-on-year growth in Q4 2018 is expected to come in at 2.4%...

 

MAS

MAS Financial Stability Review, November 2018. Tightening global financial conditions have caused capital outflows from the region, and could create further pressures on regional currencies and the debt servicing abilities of sovereigns, corporates and households. Vulnerabilities in emerging market (EM) economies have been exacerbated by global trade tensions. A protracted trade conflict could have wider ramifications on global economic growth through dampened business confidence, investment and productivity. Singapore’s banking system remains resilient despite increased uncertainty. Loan growth was healthy over the past year, while overall asset quality has improved. MAS assesses that domestic credit growth remains in line with economic conditions and does not observe any broad-based domestic credit overheating at this juncture. Hence, MAS will maintain the Countercyclical Capital Buffer (CCyB) at 0%...

 

MAS

A Guide to Digital Token Offerings, November 2018. On 1 August 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) clarified that if a digital token constitutes a product regulated under the securities laws administered by MAS, the offer or issue of digital tokens must comply with the applicable securities laws. This paper provides general guidance on the application of the securities laws administered by MAS in relation to offers or issues of digital tokens in Singapore. For purposes of this guide, the securities laws refer to the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) (“SFA”) and the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110) (“FAA”)...

 

MAS

Principles to Promote Fairness, Ethics, Accountability and Transparency (FEAT) in the Use of Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics in Singapore’s Financial Sector, November 2018. This document contains a set of generally accepted Principles for the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics (“AIDA”) in decision-making in the provision of financial products and services. Compared to human decision-making, the nature and the increasing use of AIDA may heighten the risks of systematic misuse. This may result in impacts which are more widespread, perpetuated at greater speed. When used responsibly and effectively, AIDA has significant potential to improve business processes, mitigate risks and facilitate stronger decision-making...

 

MAS

Economic Conflict Between America and China: A Truce Declared, the Talks Begin, December 2018. China and the United States are in talks over their so-called trade war, the biggest threat to economic globalisation in decades. While the focus of the dispute has centred on tariffs, the underlying economic issues involved in the talks are both simpler and more complex, less dangerous and more dangerous to the rest of the world, than widely thought. The Trump administration portrays the trade deficit between China and the US as unfair, yet US exports to China since it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 have grown very much faster than China’s exports to the United States. US manufacturing output, said to be devasted by imports from China, has increased strongly over the past decade...

 

Lowy

Implications of the Assistance and Access Bill 2018, Decmeber 2018. The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 and the resulting legislation have been of significant interest to a range of Australian and international stakeholders. In public submissions through the consultation phase, various industry stakeholders and voices raised several concerns about the potential economic implications of the Bill. To better understand the nature of those concerns and how they might be addressed, AustCyber (the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network) asked ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre to develop and conduct an online survey of Australian industry using AustCyber’s database of contacts.

 

ASPI

Remaining Plugged into European Defence and Security After Brexit: Australia and Germany, Decmeber 2018. The UK will leave the EU in March 2019. This will have long-lasting implications not only for both the UK and the EU’s remaining member states but also for third countries that have close ties to the continent, such as Australia. To remain plugged into European security and defence after Brexit, Canberra will need to develop stronger ties with other European partners to replicate the strong bonds it has with London. Particularly as a proponent of the international rules-based order, Australia should engage more with like-minded European partners such as Germany to address challenges to that order...

 

ASPI

Two Kinds of Conservatives in Japanese Politics and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Tactics to Cope with Them, December 2018. Shinzo Abe won the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership election in September 2018, securing his third term both as leader of the party and as prime minister. How has Abe — an avowedly nationalistic and right-wing politician in terms of his political ideology — been able to maintain his grip on power for 6 years? To understand his exceptionally long administration (only three other Japanese prime ministers have reached the five-year mark), we must distinguish between two contrasting types of conservatives in the LDP and examine how Abe has maneuvered to integrate those two conservative trends...

 

EWC

The United States Reasserts Trade Rule-Making through USMCA and Challenges CPTPP, December 2018. The announcement on October 1, 2018, that an agreement had been reached on a new United States–Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) came as a shock to all members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) except Mexico and Canada. It was particularly shocking for Japan which had led efforts to bring the CPTPP to fruition. New provisions included in the USMCA trilateral accord, such as those related to currency manipulation, imply that the USMCA has dethroned the CPTPP as the most modern trade agreement. The conclusion of the USMCA signifies that the United States is reasserting itself as a trade rule-maker, although the process to achieve that agreement has been publically contentious...

 

EWC

The United States Military’s Perspective on the Okinawan Gubernatorial Elections, November 2018. On September 30, 2018, Denny Tamaki, the son of an Okinawan woman and estranged US Marine, won the Okinawa gubernatorial race. Tamaki ran on the same anti-base expansion platform as his predecessor, the deceased Governor Takeshi Onaga. This election made global headlines because it was center stage to the tumultuous triad relationship between the United States, the central government of Japan, and the prefectural administration of Okinawa...

 

EWC

Trends in Southeast Asia 2018 #22: The Perak Sultanate: Transitioning into the 21st Century. Although Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s earlier government (1981–2003) limited the powers and privileges of Malaysia’s nine hereditary rulers, the political influence that they could exercise was still evident in the “Perak Crisis” of 2009, which also generated public debate about royal rights. In recent years, public wariness in Malaysia about politicians has helped the rulers present themselves as alternative sources of authority. “Monarchical activism” has been especially evident in the state of Perak, dating from 1984 when Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, who was until then Malaysia’s Lord President, was installed as the thirty-fourth ruler. In 2014, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah...

 

ISEAS

Hmong Studies Journal, Vol. 19, Issues 1 and 2, 2018  

HSJ

Latest ADB Publications:  

ADB

Latest ADBI Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest ADB Working Paper Series:  

ADB

Latest APEC publications:

 

APEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004